What does the Church teach on Immigration Reform?
Immigration Reform is a pressing issue in our country, and the longer our nation waits to address this problem in a unified way, the longer the problems will persist.
This page is meant to provide Catholics of the Archdiocese of Omaha with resources for understanding the Church’s teaching on immigration and immigration reform. Watch the video to learn more about the Church’s teaching on immigration and reform.
The Catechism on Immigration
The more prosperous nations are obliged, to the extent they are able, to welcome the foreigner in search of the security and the means of livelihood which he cannot find in his country of origin. Public authorities should see to it that the natural right is respected that places a guest under the protection of those who receive him.
Political authorities, for the sake of the common good for which they are responsible, may make the exercise of the right to immigrate subject to various juridical conditions, especially with regard to the immigrants’ duties toward their country of adoption. Immigrants are obliged to respect with gratitude the material and spiritual heritage of the country that receives them, to obey its laws and to assist in carrying civic burdens.
Clarifications on Immigration Reform
- Clarification #1: Why we need reform.
- Clarification #2: Why closing the border is not enough.
- Clarification #3: Why legal immigration is so difficult.
- Clarification #4: What the U.S. Bishops are asking.
- Why don’t they come here legally?
- Birthright Citizenship: The Real Story.
On the Current Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors
“Central American children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras are migrating to the United States alone in record numbers. While not a new phenomenon, the number of children who are making the perilous journey alone has increased exponentially—6,775, on average, arrived between 2003—2011, and upwards of 90,000 are projected to arrive in Fiscal Year 2014 (October 1, 2013—September 30, 2014). A delegation of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) traveled to Central America in November 2013 and reported in Mission to Central America: The Flight of Unaccompanied Children to the United States that multiple interrelated factors are contributing to the increase in forced child migration. Some of these factors include: a lack of strong social institutions and civil society support, abuse in the family stemming from pressure on family units due to violence and family separation, a lack of viable economic and educational opportunities, and environmental factors affecting crop production. However, the delegation reported that ‘one overriding factor has played a decisive and forceful role in recent years: generalized violence at the state and local levels and a corresponding breakdown of the rule of law have threatened citizen security and created a culture of fear and hopelessness.’”
What can I do?
- Because this is a federal problem, the petitions for change must go to our federal representatives.
- The website justiceforimmigrants.org has a postcard which you can print and send via post or send electronically. The postcard asks that our representatives follow the U.S. Bishops’ guidelines for reform.
- Join the network of Justice for Immigrants so that you can receive updates on timely opportunities for contacting your representatives and educational opportunities.
- Join the CST Network of the Archdiocese of Omaha which seeks to provide information about upcoming formation opportunities in the Omaha area. Simply e-mail Omar Gutiérrez if you would like join the network.
- There are also parish kits provided through Justice for Immigrants to help launch a postcard campaign at your parish. The kits include resources about the Church’s teaching.
- Talk to friends and neighbors. There are a lot of myths out there about immigration. It is good to correct the errors and confirm the facts about immigrants and about reform.